‘Footh-Ball Club Ajax’ – including the spelling mistake – had to leave its football pitch at the end of the Overtoom in 1900 as the municipality wanted to build housing there. The club decided to change its name to the correctly spelled Football Club Ajax, and rented a pitch on the Middenweg – now the Hagedoornweg – in the uninhabited polder of Buiksloterham in Amsterdam-North.
Action shot from 1903
Changing in the toll house
The players had fairly comfortable changing rooms at this pitch: a shack with clothes pegs and basins. The disadvantage was that they had to walk for a quarter of an hour from the ferry to the pitch. In 1901, Ajax moved to a location closer to the ferry: the ‘trapveldje’ (kicking field) on the Laanweg. Instead of a shack, they had the Tolhuis (toll house) to change in.
Team photo from 1904
The start of success
The home games were a loved outing for Ajax supporters, even though North was quite ‘far away’ for many people from Amsterdam. It was during its Amsterdam-North period that Ajax gradually started to become successful. It won the Amsterdamse Voetbalbond (football association) medal for the best goal average. Ajax also won the Gouden Kruis (golden cross) a competition between the strongest teams of the capital city. On 8 April 1901, the club beat Oranje 4-1 in its first away game.
In 1907, Ajax again had to leave its location because of new building plans. The club then moved to Watergraafsmeer. However, a new football pitch has since been built on the Laanweg: the Cruyff Court. This pitch is intended to encourage youth to play sports.